The recently revamped Enniscorthy Castle re-opened to the public in May of this summer having been closed for restoration for 5 years and has this week welcomed its 20,000th visitor since reopening on May, 6 2011.
The national monument situated on the banks of the River Slaney underwent its first refurbishment in 800 years overhauling its dungeon which features the first known ‘graffiti’ a 16th century drawing of a halberdier; to the roof with its stunning views of Enniscorthy town and the historic Vinegar Hill.
The 20,000th visitor was Joanne O’Brien from Newfoundland, Canada who was visiting Enniscorthy to attend a wedding and dropped in to see the recently re-opened castle and also enjoy the events organised for National Heritage Week. She was greeted by Chairperson of the Town Council, Councillor Jackser Owens, other members of the town council and Ms. Jacqui Hynes, Castle Manager.
Commenting on the occasion Jacqui said, “We are so delighted with the response and visitor numbers in such a short space of time. We have exceeded our wildest expectations, and are so thrilled with the support, and hope that it will continue into the future. Since re-opening visitors to the Castle have included local, national and international visitors, and those of all ages and it is also especially popular with school groups.”
Welcoming our 20,000th visitor happily coincides with Heritage Week, taking place across the country this week. Enniscorthy Castle, along with its sister attraction, the National 1798 Rebellion Centre, are hosting a number of exciting events over the course of the week including fascinating talks on battlefield archaeology and folklore of the 1798 Rebellion. Closing National Heritage week on August 28 the Rebellion Centre hosts a workshop for children based on the turbulent events of 1798; all events are free of charge.
Enniscorthy Castle brings to life the story of a town and its castle through an exhibition entitled “A View from the Keep”. On the ground floor, visitors get an introduction to the castle and can learn about its development and occupants down through the centuries. The first floor features reproductions of the rooms of Henry J Roche and his family, who were the last occupants of the castle from 1903 to 1951.
The Castle also hosts a permanent installation on the life and works of internationally-renowned designer, Eileen Gray.
Born at Brownswood House overlooking the river Slaney on the outskirts of Enniscorthy, Eileen Gray is honoured in her home town for the very first time. The exhibition details her early life, influences and the major works of her lengthy career.
Visitors are introduced to Gray’s lacquer works with special attention drawn to her famous Le Destin red lacquer screen, formerly part of Yves Saint Laurent’s collection. The display features a selection of replica furniture designed by her in the 1920s and 1930s. This includes her famous Bibendum chair as well as her highly functional E-1027 table.
Enniscorthy Castle is fully wheelchair accessible, and includes a lift to the roof. Guided tours are on offer on the hour from 12 noon – 4pm weekdays; 1pm – 4pm weekends and bank holidays.
Detail on the Castle and its events can be found on enniscorthycastle.ie or by calling 053 92 34699, the 800 year old castle can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.